Economic Indicators Report Gives Slight Chill to Markets, ETFs | ETF Trends

A private group took the economy’s temperature, and a not-so-hot prognosis has sent stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) trading lower this morning.

The Conference Board, a private business group, said that its monthly forecast of future economic activity dropped 0.7% in July, reports Ellen Simon for the Associated Press. Wall Street economists had estimated a 0.2% decline, and the last time the index fell by this much was last August, when it dropped 1%.

In better news, jobless claims fell for a second consecutive week, reports Christopher S. Rugaber for the Associated Press. The improvement was bigger than expected, however, claims are still high compared to those in recent years. The four-week average is at its highest point in nearly seven years.

Also in good news, more people seem to be buying burgers and slathering them with ketchup. Two food companies reported some profits today: Burger King’s fourth-quarter profit rose 42%, easily topping estimates. Heinz’s first-quarter profit rose 11%. Both companies are components of the PowerShares Dynamic Food & Beverage (PBJ). Heinz is 5.3% of the fund, Burger King is 2.8%. The fund is down 4.2% year-to-date.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.